Where is the Flash Player 8.5 Alpha Download?

As you probably know, we launched Macromedia Labs yesterday by releasing alpha versions of Flex Builder 2, Flex Framework 2 and Flash Player 8.5. However, there has been some questions and confusion over where the Flash Player download is.

The Flash Player installers for both Mac and Windows are included within the Flex Builder downloads. If you are on Windows and are installing the standalone version of Flex Builder, the installer will prompt you to install the players.

If you are on Mac, then you can get the installers by downloading the Flex Builder 2 Eclipse plugin zip file. The installers are located within the Zip file.Standalone players are included in both Flex Builder installs (standalone and plugin).So, why did we make it so difficult to find and install the player?Well, there was a rather heated discussion about this internally at Macromedia. There was a concern that since this is an alpha quality player, that there were probably some compatibility issues that we did not know about, and there were concerns about developer / user backlash if existing content stopped working. Because of this, the decision was made to not have direct downloads of the player installer at launch.We are considering making direct download of the alpha player available (via the labs site) in the near future.This would still only be available behind the labs login (open to anyone). Any thoughts on this?

14 Responses to Where is the Flash Player 8.5 Alpha Download?

  1. I think it would make sense to offer seperate downloads of the player from the labs page. Just makes it easier for those who want to play with the plugin. You might also want to point people to Kewbee’s plugin switcher at http://www.kewbee.de/FlashPluginSwitcher/index.php . Just makes working with multiple Flash plugin version s easier.

  2. Cort says:

    I found it confusing and tough to figure out at first as well until I had finished reading all the prelim docs and stuff and realized it would be in the install, but I still think it was a wise move.For one thing people might find this compelling enough to unwisely target it as if it wasn’t an alpha.Also, I remember a good deal of confusion with my own configuration with central and elipsis alpha players overlapping and I think that too many folk will approach the notion of “alpha” really thinking “beta”.I’d err on the side of caution. Anyone who is truely interested in investigating it enough at the developer level won’t be disuaded by a login. After all, you also don’t want casual interest seekers thinking swfs will be that big because they are just taking a glimpse and not reading the docs.

  3. j Sarini says:

    Its an Alpha! and its behind a registration system!Make it easy for developers to find!-j

  4. Danny Miller says:

    Mike,I would agree with your idea of the logins and the previous poster. Not only could Macromedia control who gets it, but these people who sign up can subscribe to information alerts and get information. Like said before, anyone who is truly interested in the developement process and the new Flex and Flash 8.5.Seriously, I can’t imagine why anyone would use Microsoft’s Sparkle, especially since we’ve seen Flex 2… How can Sparkle top that?-Danny

  5. mike says:

    Keep it hidden! Doesn’t matter how many times you explain it’s an alpha, people (ok, non devlopers) will go for the throat if they end up with 8.5 and something dies on them. It’s easy enough to get now for those interested, there’s no point in opening yourselves up to attack!

  6. Jaye Morris says:

    When will we have a version of the plug-in that works on Eclipse for Mac? The installer “read-me” file, it wouldbe helpful to say that it will not run on the Mac version of Eclipse (which I later found in the labs.macromedia.com site). That was a little confusiong for me. On the other hand, you forced me to install it on my windows lap-top and it ran great.

  7. Thanks for bringing this up for discussion, Mike. I understand your concerns in this early alpha stage.I’m looking forward to see a separate Flash Player download soon, and i think – as it’s the “labs” site, and as it’s behind a login, which is perfectly ok – that developers who are installing it are well aware of the fact that it’s an “alpha” release. You may want to add some “use at your own risk” text in big red letters on the download page, just to make sure people don’t get it wrong ;)cheers,claus.

  8. Rich Shupe says:

    For Mac users, it seemed unnecessarily difficult to get to the Flash player. Beyond that, I do agree that it should stay on the Labs domain and require a login.

  9. Just wish there was a quick way to point someone at the labs site, have them download Flash 8.5, and take a quick peek at the samples on the site (which ONLY run in 8.5). There’s no way to do that without having them pull down a giant install. It kind of puts a damper on throwing out a quick POC when there’s no quick way to get the client. I think “Alpha” and “Labs” are clear enough warnings.

  10. julian says:

    I would really like a seperate download link because the my plugin ALWAYS gets reverted back to Flash Player 7. I am constantly having to re-install Flash Player 8 and now the same thing is happening with 8.5. It’s a real drag to re-install all of Flex Builder just to re-install the player.

  11. chall3ng3r says:

    I’d also recommend making available FP8.5 saparately. the developers who want to test it will install it, just like we did when macromedia were testing FP8 recently.i’ve been compiling a big wish/feature request like my previous ones www24.brinkster.com/chall3ng3r/that i’ll be sending to macromedia, and flash dev guys.// chall3ng3r //

  12. MacroMan says:

    A bad idea Mike !125MB to test Flash Player 8.5 ???A nightmare for dial-up users.Just think about it …

  13. dclemen says:

    I read some sites that FP8.5 will be available for GNU/Linux and Amd64 in earlies alphas. Is’n it?. Is now ready (alpha) to download?.Thanks